Date of Award

2005

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Social Work

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to assess the modem juvenile justice system and the role that restorative justice has played in helping to reduce the recidivism rate of youth offenders. In addition to this assessment, research also focuses on several aspects of the juvenile justice system. More specifically, attention is given to the development of the juvenile justice system in the United States; the transference of juvenile offenders to adult criminal courts; the role of crime victims within the restorative justice process; and the area of female delinquency and the need for gender-specific programs. Incorporated into the research are the interviews of personnel of the Herbert A. Schaffner Youth Center. Restorative justice does not excuse the actions of the accused. On the contrary, it advocates accountability and responsibility. Furthermore, it seeks to repair the harm of the victim and aids in the reintegration of the victim and the offender into the community. By applying the "balanced approach" to the juvenile justice system, restorative justice seeks to prevent youth offenders from recidivating, thus ultimately preventing juvenile delinquents from entering the criminal justice system.

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